Cover Letter Types: Email Response Example and Tips


Writing to recruiters in response to advertisements for specific positions requires exactly the same process as developing company ad-response letters.

  • These letters are best written individually so that you can highlight your experience in direct relation to the requirements of the position as outlined in the advertisement.
  • Bullet-style letters are usually the most effective for this situation and are the easiest to edit for use from one position to the next.
  • If you choose the comparison-list style, be absolutely certain that your qualifications are a perfect match for the position requirements.
  • It is important to reference the position title and number in your letter.

There are two main differences between letters you write to recruiters and those you write to companies. First, rather than refer to “you” or “your company,” you should refer to “your client” or “your client’s organization.”

This demonstrates that you understand that the recruiter acts as an agent for the hiring company. Second, it is a regular practice to include salary information, location preferences, and other inclinations that you would not mention in a letter directed to a company.

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Recruiter ad-response letters are characterized by the following:

  • Straightforwardness. Don’t mess around with recruiters! They know their craft and they know their business—to find a candidate who matches a company’s hiring criteria to a “T” and nothing less.
  • Bullet style. Generally speaking, you have even less time to catch a recruiter’s attention than you do a company’s. The bullet-style cover letter becomes even more important when you are writing to recruiters. Be honest, and be “quick.”


When you are writing an electronic letter, you are usually writing in response to a specific advertisement on the Internet or in a print publication, in which you’ve been instructed to respond via e-mail. Just as with other ad-response letters, you should expose your experience as it pertains to each and every one of the requirements outlined in the advertisement.

The strategy behind these letters is actually identical to that behind ad-response letters (aimed at either companies or recruiters). However, several things differentiate these letters and make them unique, which is why we have put them in their own classification.

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First of all, e-mail cover letters are briefer than traditional printed letters.

Your challenge is to write a letter that meets all of the criteria–defining who you are, highlighting your achievements and qualifications, clearly communicating your value, identifying the type of position you are seeking, and asking for an interview. The only issue is that you need to accomplish this in less space and with fewer words than you would use if you were printing and mailing your letter. We recommend that you keep these letters as simple and straightforward as possible.

Your reader is reviewing an e-mail message, not evaluating the quality and feel of a visually distinctive paper document. But do be certain to spell-check and proofread your e-mail letter, just as you would a traditional cover letter. Typos and misspellings are no more acceptable online than they are on paper.

Tip.- Although it might seem logical to include your nicely formatted resume as an attachment to your e-mail cover letter, this might not be the best method.
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Electronic letters are characterized by the following:

  • Brevity. E-mail cover letters are short and succinct, but long enough to include the top two or three most significant “selling” points of your career, experience, qualifications, and credentials. Although you want to keep these letters brief, you do not want to totally eliminate all substance.
  • Ease of readability. Because you will type these letters as e-mail messages (usually with your resume as an attachment or as part of that same message), their presentation is plain, easy to read, and quick to review.
  • Meaningful subject line. Use the subject line of your cover letter to communicate why you are writing and a key point or two about your background (see the following example). Feel free to use abbreviations so that you can fit more into this brief space. Never send an e-mail cover letter with a blank subject line or a generic “resume” subject. Let your readers know why you are writing so that they will be motivated to open your e-mail.

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